Coldest places on earth with angiosperm plant life

  title={Coldest places on earth with angiosperm plant life},
  author={Christian K{\"o}rner},
  journal={Alpine Botany},
  • C. Körner
  • Published 25 February 2011
  • Environmental Science
  • Alpine Botany
The highest elevation flowering plant ever recorded in Europe, a lush moss flora, one of the coldest places of permanent animal life (collembola, mites) and indications of mycorrhizal fungi were evidenced for the Dom summit (4,545 m, central Swiss Alps) between solid siliceous rock at 4,505–4,543 m, 46° N. Cushions of Saxifraga oppositifolia were found at 4,505 to 4,507 m a.s.l. A large individual (possibly >30 years old) was in full bloom on 12 August 2009. The 14C-dated oldest debris of the… 

The Root-Associated Microbial Community of the World’s Highest Growing Vascular Plants

Upward migration of plants to barren subnival areas is occurring worldwide due to raising ambient temperatures and glacial recession. In summer 2012, the presence of six vascular plants, growing in a

Side by side? Vascular plant, invertebrate, and microorganism distribution patterns along an alpine to nival elevation gradient

This study may serve as a baseline to estimate the risks of biodiversity losses in response to climate change across different biotic ecosystem components and to explore the potential and limitations of vascular plants as proxy for other organism groups that are far more challenging to monitor.

Gardening in the zone of death: an experimental assessment of the absolute elevation limit of vascular plants

It is shown that episodic climatic events are decisive determinants of upper elevational limits of vascular plants, and species better adapted to repeated soil freezing and thawing survived significantly better.

The Progamic Phase in High-Mountain Plants: From Pollination to Fertilization in the Cold

Properamic processes in high-mountain plants appear fairly robust toward weather extremes increasing the probability of successful reproduction and pollen performance and fertilization capacity are tested.

Vascular plants at extreme elevations in eastern Ladakh, northwest Himalayas

Background: Due to the dry continental climate, the mountains of eastern Ladakh are unglaciated up to 6200–6400 m, with relatively large areas of developed soils between 5600 and 6000 m covered by

Plant Mycorrhiza under Extreme Conditions of Snow Beds Alpine Communities in Armenia

Snow bed alpine communities of the Lesser Caucasus are characterized by well-developed arbuscular mycorrhiza of plants, despite pronounced ruderal features.

Discovery of cryptic plant diversity in one of the harshest environments: the rooftops of the Alps

Surprisingly, it is inferred that this emblematic high-altitude plant clade originated in the Miocene and continued diversifying through Pleistocene glaciations, and three novel species of Androsace dwelling on different bedrock types on the rooftops of the Alps are discovered.

Recruitment of the high elevation cushion plant Arenaria polytrichoides is limited by competition, thus threatened by currently established vegetation

It is speculated that when populations of cushion A. polytrichoides are likely to be exposed to higher competition due to environmental changes, this species is in danger of being weeded out.

Discovery of cryptic plant diversity on the rooftops of the Alps

It is inferred that this clade of emblematic high-elevation plant clade originated in the Miocene and continued diversifying through Pleistocene glaciations, and three novel species of Androsace dwelling on different bedrock types on the rooftops of the Alps are discovered.


The distribution of plant species within alpine areas is often directly related to climate or climate-influenced ecological factors. Responding to observed changes in plant species, cover and



Low temperature limits of root growth in deciduous and evergreen temperate tree species

The root data suggest a direct growth (sink) limitation by low temperatures during spring at low elevation, and potentially year-round limitation at the high-elevation climatic treeline.

Ranunculus glacialis L.: successful reproduction at the altitudinal limits of higher plant life

The effect of the date of snowmelt on reproductive development and reproductive success in R. glacialis is examined over several years at two subnival sites and at a nival site in the Austrian Alps to reveal the reproductive limits.

An experimental assessment of the upper elevational limit of flowering plants in the western Himalayas

The experiment confirmed the observed sharp limit of vegetation, set not by any physical barrier per se, but instead by physiological constraints of the species, and provides support for the assumptions of mid-domain effect models that domain limits are defined by shared organismal adaptations in relation to environmental gradients, in this case tolerance to freezing temperature.

Growth, demography and carbon relations of Polylepis trees at the world's highest treeline

Growth, reproductive success and non-structural carbon pools in Polylepis tarapacana Philippi trees were examined across a transect between 4360 and 4810 m altitude on Nevado Sajama, Bolivia, suggesting a direct thermal limitation of tree growth.

Survival types of high mountain plants under extreme temperatures

Summer variability, winter dormancy: lichen activity over 3 years at Botany Bay, 77°S latitude, continental Antarctica

Activity was extremely variable between months and years and, overall, lichen was active for 7% of the 28-month period, the major environmental stress appeared to be high light rather than low temperatures, and the variability of early season snow fall means that prediction of activity will be very difficult.

Vascular plants as bioindicators of regional warming in Antarctica

  • R. Smith
  • Environmental Science
  • 2004
Monitoring selected populations of the only two native Antarctic vascular plant species over a 27-year period has revealed a significant and relatively rapid increase in numbers of individuals and populations at two widely separated localities in the maritime Antarctic.

Ecophysiological and morphological features of glacier-dwelling Collembola

Collembola predominantly live in soil, and on the soil surface and its neighboring strata. Some species also dwell in extreme habitats in the arctic and antarctic regions and in the high alpine

Winter crop growth at low temperature may hold the answer for alpine treeline formation

Background: Undisturbed high elevation treelines follow a common growing season isotherm, irrespective of latitude. Small stature plants thrive at much higher elevations because they grow in a